Song: Trench Warfare
Band: Jah Wobble, Jaki Liebezeit, Holger Czucay
This track is from 1981’s How Much Are They? Ex-Public Image Ltd bassist and Englishman Jah Wobble teams up with two veterans: Holger Czukay, himself a bassist and founder of the seminal German rock group Can, and co-founding drummer Jaki Leibezeit. Wobble’s dub bass sensibilities are paired up with the restlessly innovative Czukay’s penchant for sampling and found sound. The twitching, glitch-laden result is a loose but fascinating trip into elsewhere. I remember it being an underground sensation widely received as a radical, subversive burst of free-style experimental boldness. Alas, Wobble sings on this track and that’s perhaps its greatest flaw; let’s just say Wobble is a much better bassist than he is a vocalist. Fortunately the vocals make only a sporadic appearance and the thick sonic tapestry that the trip weaves in Trench Warfare is infinitely cool on its own terms. Wobble’s simple, massively primal bass line rolling forward with implacable force holds down all of the weirdness percolating above - Czukay on guitar along with guest German guitarist Uwe Jahnke; Czukay again, overdubbing with organ, French horn and various percussive bits, and Leibzeit herding this messy blooming aggregate along with a tight, crisp cadence. Catch it on Grooveshark.